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Tour of California added to 2017 WorldTour calendar

The UCI added 10 new events to its marquee men’s WorldTour calendar for the 2017 season, expanding the series to North America with the inclusion of the Amgen Tour of California.

The professional cycling teams association AIGCP recently made noise about a proposed expansion, so Tuesday’s announcement may bring that disagreement to a head.

On one hand, the WorldTour designation is a huge boon for a race like Tour of California. UCI requires at least 10 WorldTour teams participate in new races (a compromise between UCI and ASO), so ostensibly, many of the best cyclists in the world will be there. However, for Pro Continental teams, this makes it far more competitive to earn a spot on the start list. Continental outfits like Axeon Hagens Berman, a young team that lit up the 2016 race, do not race WorldTour events.

This brings the men’s WorldTour calendar up to 37 events total, including the three grand tours.

New WorldTour races for 2017:

January 29: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
February 6-10: Tour of Qatar (Qatar)
February 23-24: Abu Dhabi Tour (United Arab Emirates)
February 25: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)
March 4: Strade Bianche (Italy)
March 22: Dwars Door Vlaanderen (Belgium)
April 18-23: Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkey)
May 1: Eschborn-Frankfurt (Germany)
May 14-21: Amgen Tour of California (United States)
July 30: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)

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